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Fiji rugby hit by backroom turmoil ahead of World Cup

A temporary administrator has been put in charge of the troubled Fiji Rugby Union, a spokesman said Thursday, after its board resigned five months before the World Cup.

Fiji kick off their World Cup campaign in France against Wales on September 10 before also facing Australia, Georgia and Portugal in Group C.

However, off-field distractions have led to lawyer Simione Valenitabua taking charge of the union as “interim administrator”, said media officer Vashneel Prasad.

Valenitabua has been appointed by justice minister Siromi Turaga after the board resigned en masse last week because of administrative irregularities.

Turaga told directors the rugby union had been run illegally as a charitable trust, sparking the resignations.

He said the union’s constitution had not been registered correctly, rendering it illegal.

The union’s annual general meeting, which was due to be held last weekend, was postponed.

Despite the off-field ruckus Prasad said Fiji’s national teams are unaffected.

The Sevens squad are heading to France, then England for the final legs of the world series while head coach Simon Raiwalui is preparing for the 15-a-side World Cup. 

“(Playing) operations are continuing, all competitions are running as normal,” Prasad said.

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